Ram Madhvani’s upcoming film ‘Dhamaka’ has provoked a positive reaction from the audience, courtesy its powerful and high voltage trailer. The Kartik Aaryan-starrer tells the story of a journalist and his descent into the chasm of uncertainty, deceit and mind games after a phone call from a terrorist changes his life completely.
The film’s trailer was launched in Mumbai a few days back where the director exclusively spoke about the film, his process of filmmaking and the use of humour on his sets to drive the collective morale of the crew.
Shedding light on the subject of the film, Ram says, “The film is a human story, it’s about a guy who’s very ambitious and is inclined to get ahead, nothing wrong with ambition, but in any field, we want to succeed, we want to get ahead. But, while trying to get ahead, what is it that we lose? What is it that we gain? As the song at the end also suggests, this film is about a man who loses his love. It’s ‘sach ka, pyar ka, life ka dhamaka’ (an explosion of truth, love and life).”
He has been wanting to work with Kartik for a long time and ‘Dhamaka’ gave both of them the opportunity to collaborate and extract the best out of each other. Talking about their collaboration, he says, “We have been wanting to collaborate for the last 2 to 3 years. We’ve been discussing various subjects. This (‘Dhamaka’) was a subject that he also had in his heart. So, when he started discussing it with me, I said, yes, let’s make this together. A lot of this is Kartik-driven. It is him actually saying, let’s do this.”
For him, cinema is all about the landscape of the human face. When asked what this landscape looks like in ‘Dhamaka’, the director explains, “Kartik Aaryan, Amruta Subhash and Mrunal Thakur bring in a certain realism and believability into their characters. Just like the weather of the landscape which is sometimes thundering, scary or calm, these actors bring in that very feel, essence and emotions into their characters.”
Films like ‘Neerja’, his short film ‘This Bloody Line’ and ‘Dhamaka’ may tell you that he likes telling stories set in closed places but, he likes to differ, “I don’t want to be known to be a filmmaker who only works in closed spaces. I’m also claustrophobic, so I don’t like closed spaces.”
He adds that coming from a diverse background, he intends to merge the worlds together to give the audience an immersive experience with his films, “I also come from the theatre; I have done plays in college, I like documentaries and have seen all the cinema in the world. So there is a mixture of all of this. I want to bring a certain realism into my films and I can make it work by using a system that I call the ‘360 degree system’ where it becomes partly theatre, partly cinema”.
The filmmaker has engineered a process of filmmaking that could change the way films are made. Explaining the philosophy behind his unique process, he says, “I believe that what is outside the frame comes into the frame. There has to be coffee in the mug, if there is a mic, it has to be working, if there’s a bathroom, it has to be working. I don’t believe in life in between action and cut. You want to walk to make yourself some coffee? Please walk and make yourself some coffee. That machine is working.”
He further explains, “The reality of everything outside of the frame must come into the frame and it will come as energy. I’m here capturing energy. That’s the way it should work. Nobody should disturb the sacred space of the actor. That’s very important. I’m here to capture that”.
The director is known for his impeccable sense of humour, ask him about how he views humour in the context of his work and he says, “Well, I think humour is a weapon. We have seen a lot of cartoons where people use satire, you use different kinds of humour. I use humour to actually just ease some tension.”
“I try to see if I can make it a little easier for people (on the sets), because what we do (the collaborative art of making films) is very difficult” he signs off with his pleasant signature smile.
–By Akshay Acharya